Friday, August 15, 2008

How to save time (and money) on patent searches by not reading titles

Most people performing patent searches on their own use the USPTO, Google Patent Search and many of the supposedly free online patent search databases. Having no experience with patent research, they avoid reading into the Specification and Claims sections, and easily judge what they see by a patent's title. According to patent case law, a title can serve as a technical description, or a disclosure, if it is written by an ego-driven inventor or anyone else second-guessing other inventors, assuming that the detailed description in the title would quickly dissuade a browsing patent searcher from trying to reinvent the same thing. That's why the titles like these are common: HAND-HELD DEVICE HAVING A MULTI-CHANNEL ENCODER FOR SIMULTANEOUS SECURE TRANSMISSION OF VIDEO, IMAGE AND TEXT MESSAGES There are no laws in US requiring a precise language in a title. That is why most well-written titles read like this: IMPROVED HIGHWAY BARRIER SYSTEM FOR CALCULATING INDEFINITE LOOPS Thus our hand-held device should have the title of IMPROVED TRANSMISSION DEVICE Next time when you search patent database, remember that the search found the patents through searching within the specification and claim sections, not the titles.